Little Touches

Wedding Website Tips

Classic-Rose-smallThese days, almost every wedding has its own website. It’s a great way to share information with your guests! Here are some tips for making your wedding website great:

  • Purchase an easy-to-remember domain. For example, MikeAndSarah.com is something you can even use in the future as a blog to keep your friends and family updated on your new house, growing family, etc. When selecting a domain, remember the shorter the better – this will need to be printed on your save-the-dates and invitation enclosure cards.
  • Include hotel information. Hopefully you’ve set up room blocks at two or three nearby hotels, so be sure to include booking instructions and rates. Also include the hotel’s direct phone number and address; if your guests are like me, they’ll want to add this information to their phones!
  • Also include travel information. Many cities have multiple airports, so let your guests know which one is most convenient. If your hotel offers airport transportation, include this information as well.
  • Share the weekend schedule. If you are planning a great welcome party, you won’t want your guests to miss it by booking a late flight. This also gives your guests a chance to plan sightseeing activities if they haven’t visited the area.
  • Feature some of your favorite nearby restaurants, shops and attractions. Provide links and a map, if possible, as well as hours of operation, and why you love these places.
  • Include links to your registries. This makes it easy for your guests to find this information, should they choose to send a gift.
  • Remember that not everyone is online 24/7. Be sure to send hard copies of important information to any of your guests that aren’t tech-savvy.

Welcome Bags for Out-Of-Town Wedding Guests

Bow Tie Bags Wedding Welcome BagsIt’s that time of year when we’re busy getting welcome bags/boxes ready for our spring weddings! We get a lot of questions about what goes inside these little packages. The most common items are:

  • Bottled water.  An absolute must!
  • Snacks.  Something salty, something sweet, and perhaps something with a local flair. (More on this below.)
  • Information about the area.  Contact the local visitors’ bureau or chamber of commerce, and they will be more than happy to send you brochures and maybe even coupons!
  • Information about the wedding.  If you have an action-packed weekend planned, include an itinerary and maps/directions if transportation isn’t being provided.
  • Contact information.  Assign a local friend to act as your concierge for the weekend to help with last minute questions from your guests.

From the basics, you can upgrade to include bottles of wine, personalized toiletry items like lotion or bubble bath, even slippers!  If you are planning a beach wedding, perhaps a pair of flip flops and bottle of sunscreen.  For a garden wedding, a lovely hat. Just remember that your guests will have to pack these items for their trip home, or leave them behind.

When our brides ask us for “regional” favorites, we suggest:

  • Peterbrooke chocolates
  • Florida oranges
  • Boiled peanuts
  • Datil pepper sauce
  • San Sebastian wines

Sound like a lot of work? If you aren’t working with a wedding planner who offers this service, check out Bow Tie Bags – you can customize your bag and its contents, and they will ship them directly to the hotel. (The photo above is one of their creations!)

Custom Calligraphy & Watercolor Wedding Maps

mapsofthemoment

We are so thrilled with our bride, Sarah Jo, for introducing us to her friend Catherine Woodward! Catherine creates stunning wedding maps using ink and watercolor, and each one is custom-created featuring the information you provide. This can include the ceremony and reception location, area landmarks, and even the spot where you got engaged!

We love the idea of using these maps in your welcome bags. But it will also be a stunning piece of art for your home! Check out Catherine’s Etsy shop, Maps Of The Moment, for more examples of her work. But hurry if you want one – Catherine starts her med school residency in mid-May, and will have to put her love of creating art on hold for a bit.

Here’s a little bit more about Catherine’s story:

I started painting and drawing when I was little, but kind of over did it in high school – I took lots of classes and got totally burnt out. I think I took a single class in college, and then for about 7 years I only painted once… I just didn’t have time and didn’t really want to.

Then I became a fourth year medical student, and went from having no free time to actually having a pretty good deal of it. So, for the first time in years, I did a series of acrylic and news-print cityscapes for a friend…then other friends started requesting things and pretty soon I had done about 15 works.

catherine-woodward 1

One painting – the house below – got put on Instagram by my friend. His friend saw it and she reached out to me to see if i would be willing to draw a map of all the venues in her wedding.

catherine-woodward 1

I had never done anything like it, but it seemed like it would be a really fun project… so I bought watercolors (which I hadn’t worked with in years and years), and just started sketching. The first one was REALLY just like a hope-this-works sort of thing! And she loved it!

I will be a bridesmaid in a bunch of weddings this year, so I did more of them as gifts for the brides. Each piece got such positive feedback and were such a special gift! Then finally, I showed my boyfriend’s mom who really has to be credited for the Etsy idea.

I was really hesitant at first, but I had enough time and I really LOVE making them, so one random morning I finally made a shop. I sent the link out to my close friends and they sent it out to their friends, and it has just taken off!! It has just been the most awesome thing! I’ll get requests from all over the country and I get to learn about all these cities. People get so excited about them and that for me is the coolest part.

I’m obviously looking forward to starting residency but it’ll be sad to take a break from this. However, they say that after the first two years, you get a lot more free time, so I’m hoping I can always have this as a hobby!

Pinterest Is Not Your Wedding Planner

Pinterest Is Not Your Wedding Planner

We’ve been hearing a lot of comments lately along the lines of “I don’t need a wedding planner, I have Pinterest!” And while Pinterest can be a handy tool, it definitely should not replace any wedding professional – planner, florist, photographer, cake baker, or otherwise.

We wrote a blog post back in 2012 about the dangers of the Pinterest/DIY wedding movement. But we thought we’d point out a few things that we’ve noticed over the past year as Pinterest has gained popularity.

1. Don’t become pin-happy. You may have 10 different boards with 10 different themes. Which is great, if you are comparing the options. But don’t expect to merge those 10 themes into one wedding. Pick one, and stick with it. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the options. Plus, not every idea is feasible for your venue or time of year. Don’t just pin for the sake of pinning.

2. Don’t just copy everything. Make it your own. Everything on Pinterest has been done already, that’s why there are photos of it. Your wedding should be a unique reflection of you as a couple, not what it popular or trendy. Ask yourself if that pin is something you really need/want, and does it make sense?

3.  Keep your boards private. Now that Pinterest has this option, use it. Share only with those who really matter – otherwise, you’ll get input from so many people, you won’t know what you want anymore. (Plus, isn’t it fun for your guests to be surprised at your wedding?)

4. Photos can be unrealistic. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, styled or inspiration shoots are not real weddings. And in most cases, there is no way to actually recreate a majority of those looks for a wedding of 150 people. For a real-life look at Pinterest inspiration vs. reality, check out this great blog post called “Why Pinterest Gave Me Unrealistic Expections For Wedding Photos.”

5. A Pinterest board cannot be there on the day of your wedding. Makeup artist Paulina Perez recently shared a story about a bride who spent hours crying on her wedding day because her mom was missing out on all the special moments that happened while she was getting ready. Her mom was at the reception venue, setting up all those DIY projects, and all the other things a wedding planner might be doing. “It was heart breaking,” Paulina said. “You knew the mother was not there because she was too busy trying to make the venue look perfect for her daughter, but all the bride could think of is ‘how could my mom not be here?’ It was a lose-lose situation on both parts.”

Pinterest is great for showing your team of wedding professionals what you like. Just be sure to edit your ideas and hire pros to make them happen!

Pantone Announces 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid

Pantone 2014 Color Of The Year

Yesterday, Pantone announced the 2014 Color of the Year: Radiant Orchid. According to the press release,

“Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple—one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.”

If you don’t work in a design-related industry, you might wonder what the heck the “color of the year” is exactly.

“For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.”

pantone radiant orchid bridesmaid dress

So next year, as you are strolling through the mall and see lots of this color everywhere, think back to this blog post and say, “Ahh, I get it!”

The photo on the right is an example of a bridesmaid’s dress from Dessy in Radiant Orchid. Will you incorporate this color into your wedding? Share your ideas in the comments section!